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The Pulp Magazine Archive

Pulp magazines (often referred to as "the pulps"), also collectively known as pulp fiction, refers to inexpensive fiction magazines published from 1896 through the 1950s. The typical pulp magazine was seven inches wide by ten inches high, half an inch thick, and 128 pages long. Pulps were printed on cheap paper with ragged, untrimmed edges.

The name pulp comes from the cheap wood pulp paper on which the magazines were printed. Magazines printed on better paper were called "glossies" or "slicks." In their first decades, they were most often priced at ten cents per magazine, while competing slicks were 25 cents apiece. Pulps were the successor to the penny dreadfuls, dime novels, and short fiction magazines of the 19th century. Although many respected writers wrote for pulps, the magazines are best remembered for their lurid and exploitative stories and sensational cover art. Modern superhero comic books are sometimes considered descendants of "hero pulps"; pulp magazines often featured illustrated novel-length stories of heroic characters, such as The Shadow, Doc Savage, and The Phantom Detective.

The first "pulp" was Frank Munsey's revamped Argosy Magazine of 1896, about 135,000 words (192 pages) per issue on pulp paper with untrimmed edges and no illustrations, not even on the cover. While the steam-powered printing press had been in widespread use for some time, enabling the boom in dime novels, prior to Munsey, no one had combined cheap printing, cheap paper and cheap authors in a package that provided affordable entertainment to working-class people. In six years Argosy went from a few thousand copies per month to over half a million.

Street & Smith were next on the market. A dime novel and boys' weekly publisher, they saw Argosy's success, and in 1903 launched The Popular Magazine, billed as the "biggest magazine in the world" by virtue of being two pages longer than Argosy. Due to differences in page layout, the magazine had substantially less text than Argosy. The Popular Magazine introduced color covers to pulp publishing. The magazine began to take off when, in 1905, the publishers acquired the rights to serialize Ayesha, by H. Rider Haggard, a sequel to his popular novel She. Haggard's Lost World genre influenced several key pulp writers, including Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, Talbot Mundy and Abraham Merritt. In 1907, the cover price rose to 15 cents and 30 pages were added to each issue; along with establishing a stable of authors for each magazine, this change proved successful and circulation began to approach that of Argosy. Street and Smith's next innovation was the introduction of specialized genre pulps, each magazine focusing on a genre such as detective stories, romance, etc.

At their peak of popularity in the 1920s and 1930s, the most successful pulps could sell up to one million copies per issue. The most successful pulp magazines were Argosy, Adventure, Blue Book and Short Stories described by some pulp historians as "The Big Four". Among the best-known other titles of this period were Amazing Stories, Black Mask, Dime Detective, Flying Aces, Horror Stories, Love Story Magazine, Marvel Tales, Oriental Stories, Planet Stories, Spicy Detective, Startling Stories, Thrilling Wonder Stories, Unknown, Weird Tales and Western Story Magazine. Although pulp magazines were primarily a US phenomenon, there were also a number of British pulp magazines published between the Edwardian era and World War Two. Notable UK pulps included Pall Mall Magazine, The Novel Magazine, Cassell's Magazine, The Story-Teller, The Sovereign Magazine, Hutchinson's Adventure-Story and Hutchinson's Mystery-Story. The German fantasy magazine Der Orchideengarten had a similar format to American pulp magazines, in that it was printed on rough pulp paper and heavily illustrated.

The Second World War paper shortages had a serious impact on pulp production, starting a steady rise in costs and the decline of the pulps. Beginning with Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine in 1941, pulp magazines began to switch to digest size; smaller, thicker magazines. In 1949, Street & Smith closed most of their pulp magazines in order to move upmarket and produce slicks.[8] The pulp format declined from rising expenses, but even more due to the heavy competition from comic books, television, and the paperback novel. In a more affluent post-war America, the price gap compared to slick magazines was far less significant. In the 1950s, Men's adventure magazines began to replace the pulp.

The 1957 liquidation of the American News Company, then the primary distributor of pulp magazines, has sometimes been taken as marking the end of the "pulp era"; by that date, many of the famous pulps of the previous generation, including Black Mask, The Shadow, Doc Savage, and Weird Tales, were defunct. Almost all of the few remaining pulp magazines are science fiction or mystery magazines now in formats similar to "digest size", such as Analog Science Fiction and Fact and Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. The format is still in use for some lengthy serials, like the German science fiction weekly Perry Rhodan.

Over the course of their evolution, there were a huge number of pulp magazine titles; Harry Steeger of Popular Publications claimed that his company alone had published over 300, and at their peak they were publishing 42 titles per month. Many titles of course survived only briefly. While the most popular titles were monthly, many were bimonthly and some were quarterly. The collapse of the pulp industry changed the landscape of publishing because pulps were the single largest sales outlet for short stories. Combined with the decrease in slick magazine fiction markets, writers attempting to support themselves by creating fiction switched to novels and book-length anthologies of shorter pieces.

Pulp covers were printed in color on higher-quality (slick) paper. They were famous for their half-dressed damsels in distress, usually awaiting a rescuing hero. Cover art played a major part in the marketing of pulp magazines. The early pulp magazines could boast covers by some distinguished American artists; The Popular Magazine had covers by N.C. Wyeth, and Edgar Franklin Wittmack contributed cover art to Argosy and Short Stories. Later, many artists specialized in creating covers mainly for the pulps; a number of the most successful cover artists became as popular as the authors featured on the interior pages. Among the most famous pulp artists were Walter Baumhofer, Earle K. Bergey, Margaret Brundage, Edd Cartier, Virgil Finlay, Earl Mayan, Frank R. Paul, Norman Saunders, Nick Eggenhofer, (who specialized in Western illustrations), Rudolph Belarski and Sidney Riesenberg. Covers were important enough to sales that sometimes they would be designed first; authors would then be shown the cover art and asked to write a story to match.

Later pulps began to feature interior illustrations, depicting elements of the stories. The drawings were printed in black ink on the same cream-colored paper used for the text, and had to use specific techniques to avoid blotting on the coarse texture of the cheap pulp. Thus, fine lines and heavy detail were usually not an option. Shading was by crosshatching or pointillism, and even that had to be limited and coarse. Usually the art was black lines on the paper's background, but Finlay and a few others did some work that was primarily white lines against large dark areas.

Another way pulps kept costs down was by paying authors less than other markets; thus many eminent authors started out in the pulps before they were successful enough to sell to better-paying markets, and similarly, well-known authors whose careers were slumping or who wanted a few quick dollars could bolster their income with sales to pulps. Additionally, some of the earlier pulps solicited stories from amateurs who were quite happy to see their words in print and could thus be paid token amounts. There were also career pulp writers, capable of turning out huge amounts of prose on a steady basis, often with the aid of dictation to stenographers, machines or typists. Before he became a novelist, Upton Sinclair was turning out at least 8,000 words per day seven days a week for the pulps, keeping two stenographers fully employed. Pulps would often have their authors use multiple pen names so that they could use multiple stories by the same person in one issue, or use a given author's stories in three or more successive issues, while still appearing to have varied content. One advantage pulps provided to authors was that they paid upon acceptance for material instead of on publication; since a story might be accepted months or even years before publication, to a working writer this was a crucial difference in cash flow.

Some pulp editors became known for cultivating good fiction and interesting features in their magazines. Preeminent pulp magazine editors included Arthur Sullivant Hoffman (Adventure), Robert H. Davis (All-Story Weekly), Harry E. Maule (Short Stories) Donald Kennicott (Blue Book), Joseph T. Shaw (Black Mask), Farnsworth Wright (Weird Tales, Oriental Stories), John W. Campbell (Astounding Science Fiction,Unknown) and Daisy Bacon (Love Story Magazine, Detective Story Magazine).

Description of this collection from Wikipedia.

Many issues of this collection come from a variety of anonymous contributors, as well as sites such as The Pulp Magazines Project and ThePulp.net.

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The Pulp Magazine Archive
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eye 7,223
favorite 18
comment 0
Topics: fisher, cromek, lowena, logan, chuck, hut, fantasy, benedict, john stuart, thai, prince henry, ihe...
Islands in the Sky (1956.Winston) - Arthur C. Clarke
Topics: islands, sky, space, commander, station, earth, gravity, ship, doyle, commander doyle, morning...
The Pulp Magazine Archive
texts
eye 1,959
favorite 3
comment 0
future science fiction 51.11
Topics: reese, ismail, gilhanna, bruce, trance, psychologist, fiction, mystic, biologist, future combined,...
If - Worlds Of Science Fiction v01n03 [Quinn] (Jul 1952) (Gorgon776)
Topics: sahl, faron, parn, uncle, alaia, joy, martian, glanced, shook, uncle peter, bag ears, science...
If - Worlds Of Science Fiction v08n04 (1958-06.Quinn)(AKv1.0)
Topics: lora, duran, leon, aunt, wayne, ship, mattie, sheilah, johnny, aunt mattie, high dragon, gift...
If - Worlds Of Science Fiction v01n04 [Quinn] (Sep 1952) (Gorgon776)
Topics: parker, retch, newlin, conger, tam, eyes, songeen, rozeno, stared, shock treatment, robert moore,...
Thrilling Wonder Stories v10n03 (1937-12.Better) c2c (ufikus-DPP)
Topics: penton, thrilling, crocker, space, blake, farman, haley, ship, stories, thrilling wonder, wonder...
Startling Stories v23n01 (1951-03.Better) c2c (ufikus-DPP)
Topics: trehearne, edri, vardda, joris, carey, shairn, kerrel, welstead, ship, science fiction, curt...
If - Worlds Of Science Fiction v01n01 [Quinn] (Mar 1952) (Gorgon776)
Topics: kirk, tlie, gene, naia, judd, eyes, alma, rorrek, cordell, black eyes, howard browne, twelve times,...
The Pulp Magazine Archive
texts
eye 1,327
favorite 3
comment 0
Marvel Science Stories v03n01 Nov-1950 130p
Topics: trenton, joe, drayatha, kiryla, marvel, zranthon, kerry, science, mani, marvel science, science...
If - Worlds Of Science Fiction v01n06 [Quinn] (Jan 1953) (Gorgon776)
Topics: fred, curt, merril, browne, farrell, faraday, smith, stryker, martha, john smith, rog phillips,...
The Pulp Magazine Archive
texts
eye 1,292
favorite 2
comment 0
Topics: bentley, barter, winford, pulp, larry, halsey, naka, ape, blake, naka machi, snap, purple mists,...
If - Worlds Of Science Fiction v01n02 [Quinn] (May 1952) (Gorgon776)
Topics: steve, teejay, buckmaster, asir, corrigan, wagner, barling, leclarc, greg, big joe, milton lesser,...
The Pulp Magazine Archive
texts
eye 1,214
favorite 5
comment 0
Startling Stories v01n01 1939 01
Topics: connor, evanie, jan, urbs, eyes, startling, flame, mason, master, black flame, startling stories,...
The Pulp Magazine Archive
texts
eye 1,150
favorite 3
comment 0
Startling Stories v15n02 1947.05 - jpg
Topics: boyce, irathe, guillaume, kerak, tancred, huntsman, bromburg, duvelskoe, startling, startling...
Thrilling Wonder Stories v18 03 Better (Dec 1940)
Topics: padgett, hyatt, tubby, wayne, abie, thrilling, omega, earth, swinerton, thrilling wonder, wonder...
The Pulp Magazine Archive
texts
eye 1,128
favorite 1
comment 0
Thrilling Wonder Stories v24n02 1943-06 images
Topics: landau, carstairs, pete, thrilling, gouf, stories, noel, motionless, violin, thrilling wonder,...
The Pulp Magazine Archive
texts
eye 1,093
favorite 1
comment 0
Space Science Fiction v01n02 (1952-09.Space)
Topics: dondyke, ein, fiction, science, grekh, space, marl, ship, tion, science fiction, space science,...
If - Worlds Of Science Fiction v01n05 [Quinn] (Nov 1952) (Gorgon776)
Topics: kazu, baker, jordan, penelope, buddha, likeness, spain, comet, scott campbell, john scott, red...
If - Worlds Of Science Fiction v08n02 (1958-02.Quinn)(AKv1.0)
Topics: matson, geoffrey, barbarian, aliens, jenkins, walker, dugald, charles, edwin, black doctor, science...
Far Point Science Fiction and Fantasy 04 1992-May-June
Topics: taylor, gardenia, terraforming, mins, isbn, jujube, parson, aristotle, fiction, niles, maculate...
Science Fiction Adventures v02n01 Future (Dec 1953)
Topics: fiction, syndic, adventures, science, loyce, jose, colonel, orsino, charles, science fiction,...
The Pulp Magazine Archive
texts
eye 1,053
favorite 1
comment 0
Galaxy v03n05 - 1952 02 - Galaxy
Topics: powell, reich, norris, fiction, galaxy, science, celeste, theodor, chooka, science fiction, galaxy...
The Pulp Magazine Archive
texts
eye 1,041
favorite 2
comment 0
Super Science Stories v08n01 (1951-04.Popular)
Topics: storm, science, stories, green light, morlake, jim, super, doc, son, frazier, super science,...
Planet Stories v02n08 (1944-Fall.Fiction House)(AK)
Topics: nolan, norman, meek, planet, ship, eyes, woller, sade, dennis, grannie annie, dennis brooke, doctor...
Secret of Saturn's Rings (1954.Winston)(cape1736) - Wollheim
Topics: bruce, ship, rhodes, rings, garcia, space, arpad, secret, jennings, saturn, space ship, bruce...
If - Worlds Of Science Fiction v02n04 [Quinn] (Sep 1953) (Gorgon776)
Topics: cleaver, stonecypher, michelis, hull, lithia, loveral, lithians, chtexa, agronski, james blish,...
The Pulp Magazine Archive
texts
eye 1,032
favorite 1
comment 0
Startling Stories v22n01 (1950-09.Better)
Topics: magnus, ridolph, frog, quade, martha, cybernetic, brains, simon, stories, magnus ridolph, science...
The Pulp Magazine Archive
texts
eye 1,012
favorite 1
comment 1
Galaxy v03n04 - 1952 01 - Galaxy
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Topics: reich, fiction, galaxy, science, demolished, esper, norcross, peeper, man, science fiction, galaxy...
The Pulp Magazine Archive
texts
eye 1,009
favorite 2
comment 0
Fantastic Universe v01n01 (1953-06.King-Size)
Topics: lynne, harmon, rolf, universe, boyette, fantastic, maugham, mars, eddie, fantastic universe, mary...
Far Point Science Fiction and Fantasy 03 1992-March-April
Topics: randal, marty, helen, harcourt, dinkie, gilchrist, blackheath, paperback, eyes, science fiction,...
If - Worlds Of Science Fiction v02n02 [Quinn] (May 1953) (Gorgon776)
Topics: frank, nora, wilson, marquis, minna, bowren, eyes, jim, man, jim wilson, ivar jorgenson, science...
Future Fantasy v01n01 (1978-02)(sprout-DREGS)
Topics: mercer, fantasy, robots, ardana, star, valma, fiction, robot, science, alien, science fiction,...
If - Worlds Of Science Fiction v02n06 [Quinn] (Jan 1954) (Gorgon776)
Topics: bryson, gregg, zeckler, ree, hayden, vike, evan, meyerhoff, malice, evan hunter, dameri tass, young...
The Pulp Magazine Archive
texts
eye 960
favorite 2
comment 0
Startling Stories v01n02 1939.03 - jpg
Topics: shelton, traft, alien, earth, lorg, benning, iapetus, ship, myra, startling stories, myra benning,...
Science Fiction Quarterly v01n02 - 1951 - Columbia
Topics: templin, sean, culver, eris, olcott, fiction, jeryl, civin, pug, science fiction, fiction...
Thrilling Wonder Stories v25n01 1943-Fall (Standard)
Topics: egan, caquer, bartlett, thrilling, martian, randall, stories, mungh, rick, thrilling wonder, wonder...
Secret of the Ninth Planet (1959.Winston)(cape1736) - Donald Wollheim
Topics: burl, planet, secret, ninth, russ, haines, ship, lockhart, boulton, magellan, ninth planet, rocket...
Startling Stories v03n03 (1940-05.Better)(missing p103-104)
Topics: guaracco, lorenzo, startling, stories, leroy, tweel, giuliano, orbis, startling stories, science...
The Pulp Magazine Archive
texts
eye 941
favorite 1
comment 0
Startling Stories v06n03 1941-11
Topics: temple, lee, kellie, farge, startling, rocossen, kansas, breen, monj, startling stories, hate...
Startling Stories v28n02 (1952-12.Better)
Topics: jeff, greta, stories, startling, lajos, frasser, harkavy, dolla, tion, startling stories, dolla...
The Pulp Magazine Archive
texts
eye 935
favorite 2
comment 0
Galileo 07 1978-03 bones
Topics: galileo, arin, bowdeen, garick, callan, lasser, uriah, kon, sidele, science, science fiction, parke...
Wonder Stories Quarterly v02n04 Stellar (Sep 1930) (cape1736)
Topics: webster, stories, von, ellis, venus, melvin, spider, myra, spiders, wonder stories, melvin blue,...
Fantastic Adventures v01n04 (1939-11.Ziff-Davis)(missing ifc)
Topics: ace, wyatt, dake, brant, atomic, fantastic, roedler, adventures, lester, fantastic adventures, van...
Startling Stories v33n02 Standard Magazines (Summer 1955)
Topics: borden, ellis, sattell, kelsey, jerry, mikel, startling, ellen, findley, startling stories, white...
If - Worlds Of Science Fiction v02n01 [Quinn] (Mar 1953) (Gorgon776)
Topics: frank, nora, wilson, marquis, minna, bowren, eyes, jim, man, jim wilson, ivar jorgenson, deadly...
Thrilling Wonder Stories v31n03 Standard (Feb 1948) (cape1736)
Topics: deker, bud, murfree, oona, thrilling, carl, gregory, stories, transuranic, bud gregory, thrilling...
Fantastic Universe v08n03 (Sep 1957) (Wilddog-DCP)
Topics: conan, fantastic, longtree, universe, eyes, duggan, zack, turanian, fantastic universe, victorious,...
If - Worlds Of Science Fiction v02n05 [Quinn] (Nov 1953) (Gorgon776)
Topics: eric, froman, walden, merrick, mackey, heidel, looked, doc, martian, homo inferior, mari wolf,...
The Pulp Magazine Archive
texts
eye 877
favorite 1
comment 0
Galaxy v05n03 (1952-12.Galaxy)
Topics: galaxy, vickers, fiction, science, leech, micheals, carrin, weapon, crawford, science fiction,...
The Pulp Magazine Archive
texts
eye 870
favorite 2
comment 0
Cosmos v01n01 (1977-05.Doubleday)
Topics: rime, mouser, fafhrd, hanno, wardress, sharer, shaman, isle, chirpsithtra, caulie, science fiction,...
Science Fiction Monthly v02n07 (1975.NewEnglishLibrary)
Topics: fiction, australian, science, manderpootz, worlds, van, weinbaum, australia, stories, melbourne,...
Wonder Stories Quarterly v03n04 1932-Summer.Stellar c2c (Team-DPP)
Topics: mason, haworth, hanavan, lance, ship, milroy, armiston, quarterly, prolo, wonder stories, lord...
The Pulp Magazine Archive
texts
eye 858
favorite 1
comment 0
Galaxy v03n02 (1951-11.Galaxy)
Topics: craig, galaxy, fiction, science, slugs, man, slug, mary, len, science fiction, galaxy science,...
Science Fiction Monthly v01n09 New English Library (1974)
Topics: fiction, science, ralph, glmff, wyndham, stories, pelham, monthly, farmer, alien, science fiction,...
Fantastic Universe v04n04 (1955-11.King-Size)
Topics: fantastic, krome, universe, tina, mallory, ballantine, brokaw, eddy, great man, eyes, fantastic...
Other Worlds v02n02 (1950-09.Clark)(cape1736)
Topics: fal, worlds, garfinkel, janice, direk, ship, eena, eyes, stood, sir william, science fiction, queen...
Science Fiction Monthly v01n10 New English Library (1974)
Topics: fiction, burroughs, science, mandrake, edgar, stories, published, starwood, monthly, phryges,...
Thrilling Wonder Stories v09n01 (1937-02.Beacon) c2c (ufikus-DPP)
Topics: blake, thrilling, cass, ross, brain, science, protoplasm, stories, jefferson, thrilling wonder,...
If - Worlds Of Science Fiction v04n03 (1954-11.Quinn)(AKv1.0)
Topics: aron, jason, kerl, neilson, bish, rell, riuku, tion, treb, doctor bish, interpretive bank, science...
Fantastic Adventures v03n01 Ziff Davis (Jan 1941) (cape1736)
Topics: kirk, marshall, china, adventures, fantastic, boyle, frances, horse, cass, china boy, fantastic...
Fantastic Story v04n03 Best Books (Nov 1952)
Topics: temple, lee, farge, lefty, eyes, kansas, huat, rocossen, fantastic, fantastic story, story...
Thrilling Wonder Stories v30n03 1947-08 images
Topics: bud, gregory, murfree, weston, thrilling, stories, gresham, zonium, forrest, bud gregory, thrilling...
Startling Stories v02n03 (1939-11.Better)(missing back covers)(Gorgon)
Topics: cartwright, drumm, gait, utopia, startling, pat, pioneer, tweel, captain, startling stories,...
Wonder Stories Quarterly v04n03 Stellar (Aug 1932) (cape1736)
Topics: grando, bela, bjornsen, ship, jack, wintermaine, aldane, space, stories, john hand, wonder stories,...
Fantastic Adventures v02n07 (1940-08.Ziff-Davis)(cape1736)
Topics: hector, hall, adventures, harding, slug, bacchus, ebbtide, ross, fantastic, fantastic adventures,...
Thrilling Wonder Stories v13n03 1939-06 (Better)(GorgonRS)
Topics: hull, mai, lon, kadir, thrilling, beetle, stories, fiction, joaquin, thrilling wonder, wonder...
Far Point Science Fiction and Fantasy 01 1991-November-December
Topics: drognir, hugh, vahishta, kafari, fixer, maarkaad, bot, sheena, astaroth, sir robert, mail order,...
Startling Stories v32n03 - 1955 Winter - Better Publications
Topics: davenant, kruse, kathy, ganymede, lyell, jill, eyes, startling, lester, startling stories, davenant...
The Pulp Magazine Archive
texts
eye 804
favorite 2
comment 0
Amazing v35n02 (1961-02.Ziff-Davis)
Topics: amazing, alan, stories, ship, dudley, fiction, science, rim, dies, amazing stories, dream dies,...
The Pulp Magazine Archive
texts
eye 804
favorite 1
comment 0
Galaxy v06n01 (1953-04.Galaxy)
Topics: lon, galaxy, fiction, frelaine, science, carson, androids, roderick, alison, science fiction,...
Galaxy v01n05 (1951-02.World Editions)(AKv1.0)
Topics: montag, biron, galaxy, fiction, science, gillbret, leahy, autarch, tyrann, science fiction, galaxy...
The Pulp Magazine Archive
texts
eye 800
favorite 2
comment 0
Galaxy v01n01 - 1950 - World Editions
Topics: sutton, galaxy, fiction, science, adams, max, pat, ship, judson, science fiction, galaxy science,...
The Pulp Magazine Archive
texts
eye 798
favorite 1
comment 0
Galaxy v03n01 (1951-10.Galaxy)
Topics: galaxy, fiction, science, maitland, mullen, gniss, swarts, stuart, masters, science fiction, galaxy...
The Pulp Magazine Archive
texts
eye 792
favorite 3
comment 0
Startling Stories v01n03 1939.05 - jpg
Topics: crain, dandor, surp, philip, eyes, mara, kro, lanu, philip crain, startling, great plan, thirty...